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Kafka on the Shore A novel
by Haruki Murakami

Cover image   Availability: Not available new from Amazon.com

Edition: Hardcover
Publisher: Knopf (2005-01-18)
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 1400043662 / 9781400043668
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 104640

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One of the 10 best books of 2005 according to The New York Times
“This graceful and dreamily cerebral novel, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel, tells two stories—that of a boy fleeing an Oedipal prophecy, and that of a witless old man who can talk to cats—and is the work of a powerfully confident writer.”

Book description
With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle–yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.


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